Author Topic: To err is human  (Read 16156 times)

balfour

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To err is human
« on: December 24, 2015, 10:35:42 AM »
I am so grateful for the community I've found here and at yourbrainrebalanced.com.  Even when I've failed in the past (and that has been largely my experience so far) I can come here and realize I'm not alone.  I stopped trying to reboot for a long time.  My longest streak was 23 days about two years ago.  Since then I've managed 3 or 4 days at a time here and there, but largely allowed myself to fall back into the same patterns.  And as you might expect, I have experienced the debilitating and humiliating experience of a PMO life.  Low energy, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, zero romantic interests, PIED, and so much more.  I am 38 now and realize it's now or never.  I can't let this addiction be who I am for the rest of my life.  I still have life to live, I still have goals to accomplish.  I know that I am fraught with issues and they will need to be sorted out, but I can't keep pretending that PMO isn't a problem, that I have it under control.  I'm not proud of the man I've become.  I'm not living up to my fullest potential. 

I'm on Day 5 of this reboot and am hoping for the best.  The first few days were not without challenges.  But my resolve remains. Stay strong everyone!
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 11:05:06 PM by balfour »

Johnny Trailer

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 08:47:58 PM »
good spirit. go for it, you are not alone in challenges and success either  8) thanks man

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2015, 01:49:59 PM »
Thanks Numez. I appreciate the support. Let's defeat this thing!  At day's end I'll have a week under my belt. Wishing you a victory today and every day going forward.

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2015, 10:59:32 AM »
It felt great waking up today to a week clean from PMO.  This is my longest streak in quite some time.  I am cautioning myself not to get into a habit of counting days, however.  While doing so gives you a nice benchmark to work from, I have found that in the past watching the counter can be counterproductive.  Then it can become more about numbers and less about a total lifestyle change.  My approach this time around is to go and do things, substitute PMO addiction with more productive activities.  I am just beginning that process so obviously that will take some time.  I've been taking stock of the things that made me fail in previous attempts and actively trying to avoid them this time.  My main triggers are:

1) Being alone at home - which encompasses boredom, loneliness, fatigue, etc. 
2) Social media, especially Facebook.
3) Letting my mind wander into sexual fantasy from something or someone that I see, then replaying it until I break down
4) "Harmless" MO which ultimately leads to PMO

I'm trying to take steps on each of these points.  I am a musician and writer so for me this will mean filling up as much time as I can at home with my craft, learning new things and creating new pieces.  This also means almost forcing social interaction.  I'm a fairly social person as it is, but often will choose to stay in and do nothing.  This behavior has gotten worse over the last few years as I've started to drink less alcohol (those hangovers start to feel worse and worse every year!).  Learning how to be social while nursing a drink or two is something I'm trying to do. 

I was thinking last night about how I've spent 20 years using PMO to cope with every kind of negative thing that life throws at me.  That can't be undone overnight.  It will require time to learn new ways of dealing with problems - not the quick, useless, short-term PMO way.  Onwards and upwards gents!

Johnny Trailer

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2015, 11:05:19 AM »
i think its good that you realize that MO may not cause the problem but it causes struggle and usually relapse if the problem is already created (porn addiction).

good luck, stay free!


balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2015, 10:15:37 PM »
Thanks Numez!  Today I actually had to take my own advice to heart.  It's funny how this PMO ride can get really difficult really fast.  Hours after writing my last post I found myself indulging in some mental fantasy about some previous sexual experience.  Next thing I know I'm M'ing.  FORTUNATELY, I caught myself and stopped and continued on my day.  Now, some would argue (and they may have a point) that I did nothing wrong.  I wasn't imagining porn imagery and I didn't relapse or anything, but I know myself enough to know that in the past once I've given myself the OK to MO, I'm usually PMO'ing within a day or two after.  I think it's because of the chaser effect, and also because MO'ing kind of feels like a failure even though it technically isn't.  But I didn't relapse; I had the mental fortitude to stop before it went further.  And I really did struggle with some guilt afterwards.  How could I be so triumphant at 11AM and have my hand down my pants by 2PM?!  This addiction is REAL.  I have to be on my guard at all times.  Eight days means nothing for the addicted brain.  So with that I begin winding down my day with the knowledge that I've won the battle today, but not the war.  Stay strong!
« Last Edit: December 26, 2015, 10:21:34 PM by balfour »

Johnny Trailer

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2015, 08:38:37 AM »
many people in your shoes just go with MO as they heard it is not the MO part that is bad... they are like heroin addicts trying to quit heroin but chilling in the drug house with old friends. "drug house full of junkies is not the cause of the heroin addiction, its the fucking heroin effect on the brain!" funny part: they are right and they struggle with their addictions forever.

it is important to see this for yourself as you did, in other words to see if it is true for you. watch out if you go crazy after MO, if you cant control it. you just must MO. after few times you probably end up craving something more than MO which is PMO. if any of this happens and you still defend your MO habit... well... figure out for yourself.

this was true for you and you got yourself out of this so this post is for some fella who accidentally read it and find it helpful.

stay strong and free!
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 08:43:29 AM by Numez »

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 10:28:36 AM »
Thanks again for the support Numez.  And for me, what you said is correct - that MO would ultimately lead to PMO for me, at least in this stage of my recovery.  I think the fact that I was able to stop myself is proof that my resolve is strengthening.  The incident must have been in my subconscious mind, but I had a vivid dream last night that I relapsed into full PMO.  I woke up so disappointed in myself.  It took me a few minutes of being awake to realize that I hadn't done anything wrong and it was such a relief!  I've read in other people's accounts of how they also had dreams of relapsing.  It's tricky how the mind works sometimes.  In my case it helped me.  By giving me the guilt of relapsing without actually doing so, the dream served as a stark reminder of what is at stake for me.  I have even more determination now.  Day Nine is going to be a victorious one :)  Cheers!

IWantToLive

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2015, 12:05:37 PM »
You can do it my friend. Our mind is dangerous in that it tries to pull us towards old habits, such as addictions. The key to winning is to replace the old habits with new healthier habits such as reading a good book, taking a walk in the park, or talking with your loved ones. Stay strong and happy holidays!
When the going gets tough, the tough get going

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 11:26:54 PM »
Thanks IWantToLive, I really appreciate the support.  I couldn't agree with you more.  If all you're doing is taking away PMO and leaving a void there, you're just setting yourself up for failure.  Fortunately there are so many opportunities if you just only take the time and look.  I've been reading more which is great.  My intention is to start going to the gym more regularly as well.  I used to have a great routine but let it slip for various reasons over the last couple of years.  Last night I stumbled on some old porn I had forgotten was on my computer.  I hastily deleted all of it (without the slightest peak) so that was nice, but it felt weird being that close to those clips but not looking.  They just didn't interest me.  Deleting was rather cathartic.  My resolve is staying strong thankfully though I'm constantly on guard because I really want to get PMO out of my life for good and find a real, loving relationship.  As I write this I'm finishing Day 10 which feels really nice.  I had a little rage this morning that kind of came out of nowhere but I think my mind is all over the place.  Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and I wish you great success as well!  Let's be done with this crap!

tostadora

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 11:32:56 AM »
balfour,

I wish you the best. As one of your triggers is boredom, I suggest you go and buy a jigsaw puzzle. That was really helpful for me as a healthy outlet in moments of boredom. That things can suck your attention and can really control your mind without exploiting it.

Take care.

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 11:13:29 PM »
Thanks Tostadora, good suggestion.  I've been doing some adult coloring.  It was suggested online for anxiety reduction and I've found it works great for that purpose.  Even if it's just for a little bit it gives me something to focus on and you create a minor piece of art in the process.  Boredom is an enemy of a reboot, that's for sure.  Today I was so exhausted after work that I was not tempted in the slightest.  Also I think I may have already flatlined, at least partially (is that possible?).  At any rate, I don't feel like a horn-dog but I'm actually just great with that.  It makes my determination a little stronger.  It's been 11 days.  I feel really great so far.  No superpowers, but I'm not in it for the superpowers.  I'm in it to reclaim my life, to find a relationship with something other than my computer screen, to prove to myself that with willpower I can move the mountains in my life.  Onwards and upwards!

Passing river

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2015, 04:18:30 AM »
Hi balfour
Congratulation for 10 days. Keep going man. You are passing the hardest parts and you are doing it well. I wish you the best.

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2015, 04:24:06 PM »
Thank you Passing River.  I appreciate the support this forum brings. So far I'm staying very committed and seem to have hit a flatline which is a breeze :).  I'm almost at the two week mark so I'm staying vigilant. Hope your recovery is going well!

Johnny Trailer

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 09:31:17 PM »
yes balfour, if you learned not to depend on O and sex to feel happy, then flatline is a breeze  8) you are doing awesome job

many people feel like shit if they dont fuck some bitches for some time. we are forced to learn that life can be joyful without sex and libido and its a blessing to be forced to learn something that makes you more happy in the moment.

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2016, 11:55:25 PM »
Yes that is true Numez.  It just seems that the most successful rebooters abstained from O and MO as long as possible. Each day makes it easier. Today I was tempted a bit by mental fantasy and a couple of triggers on Facebook. But I stayed self aware in those moments and they passed. I did some push-ups during one of the times and I had forgotten all about the trigger afterwards. I am very excited to be at the two-week mark today. This isn't about short term goals, but it's nice to have my longest streak in 3 years again. Stay strong and find strength.

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2016, 11:46:25 PM »
So today marks 15 days clean (my counter is slightly behind).  I am proud of that number because it's my longest streak in ages, but also because this time around I'm so much smarter than I was when I started this process 3 years ago.  I am by no means perfect and this is not bragging because i know full well that this addiction is complex and can sneak up on you at any time.  What I'm most proud of is recognizing triggers.  When I started this whole thing, I allowed myself to believe certain lies (i.e. it's just fantasy; it can't hurt me, it's not porn so I can sneak some looks at Facebook photos that turn me on, I'll just MO, not PMO - I'm strong enough to handle it, etc.).  Inevitably, I relapsed over and over again.  In a way, I built in failure right from the start by giving my addicted brain the permission to fail.  This time I'm calling bullshit on my addicted brain.  All the lies it tries to throw at me don't affect me as much anymore because I know what caving in to those temptations brings - failure, despair, loneliness.  Another thing I have always done - dwelling in the past.  I allow myself to feel frustrated because of past failures.  But that is a fruitless enterprise.  The past is gone.  I have to live for the future.  I don't have to believe that I am a PMO addict always on the brink of failure.  I am a successful man capable of being more than his addictions.  I hope everyone kicks ass this year. 

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2016, 11:34:48 PM »
Day 16 - I have been successfully fighting off any urges thankfully.  I think I'm in a flatline so that does help with resisting urges.  Since I struggled with PIED and death grip, the physical recovery may take some time.  I have been getting some odd sensations down there - little...zaps is the best why I can describe them.  Also, playing with my junk (which used to be an absent-minded tick of mine after years of PMO) now does very little.  I guess that's good in that I'm not tempted to MO.  I certainly did spend years abusing my junk.  Any recovery would be welcome at this point.  I am having zero urges to PMO.  I still get flashes of mental fantasy - but always about real-life guys or situations.  No porn flashbacks.  I've always had a healthy imagination about real-life guys anyways - but the trick here is keeping that to a bare minimum.  I know very well how it can quickly escalate to full on PMO.  My guard is staying up.  Wishing strength to all those struggling.  Keep up the good fight, gents.

TheNewMe

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2016, 07:13:53 AM »
Hi balfour!

17 days is great progress. Congrats! Knowing your triggers and actively avoiding them is so important and it's so awesome to hear you're on top of that. Fantasies or porn images in your mind can be difficult to avoid but there are techniques you can use to control them.

Anyway, just wanted to stop by and tell you you're awesome and doing great. Keep it up, brother!

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2016, 08:05:40 PM »
Thanks TheNewMe!  I really appreciate the encouragement.  I hope you are also doing well.  I read your post about rebooting and have also read the post at YBR which you referenced.  Some very good points were made there.  Your perspective on it is great.  I hesitated about having a counter myself but for me it's just a metric to remind me of what I'm doing.  I know this is change for the rest of my life, not just for a certain amount of days.  I'm on Day 18 now and quite frankly I'm not really feeling any urge to MO at all and especially PMO.  I must have completely flatlined because I came across (and quickly deleted) and inappropriate pic on my phone and it gave me nothing - no urge, no fantasy, nothing.  Quite strange really.  I'm so used to be in hyper sexual mode.  Anyway, thanks again for stopping by and let's defeat this thing!!

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2016, 12:04:37 AM »
Day 19 - I did something today that many on here might have warned me against, but it just felt right.  I noticed that when I would start typing a non-porn website into my browser, sometimes a porn site that I used to frequent comes up.  I didn't want to clear all of my browser history because of passwords, interesting finds, etc. so I decided to go in day by day and delete just the visits to porn sites.  It didn't trigger me necessarily (although seeing the salacious titles to some of the sites or names of cam models I liked did briefly taunt me).  What it did mostly, however, was kind of disgust me.  When you see it laid out like that with time stamps showing frequent visits, multiple times a day.  It was utterly depressing to read.  I just kept deleting and deleting and managed to get back to August before I just gave up.  How many images used to flash before on my computer screen and I was glued to them like a zombie - zoned out, oblivious to the world around me, passing up opportunities to advance my career or enrich myself somehow.  I tell you, it was a humbling thing to see all of it.  Page after page after page of links to dozens of sites.  That being said I found it somewhat cathartic.  It's weird, I just needed to see it.  I knew it wouldn't make me PMO.  Honestly, I just don't crave it.  I don't want to see another pornographic image or video ever again.  I just don't.  But I needed to see how many times I looked at, to be reminded of all the time I lost, all the missed opportunities for a real relationship. all because of some fucking pixels on a screen.  I'm glad I did it.  I don't necessarily recommend it for everyone.  I can definitely see how it could trigger someone to look at some of those links.  But it made me sail through today.  And it made me stronger for tomorrow.  I'm sure others have mentioned it, but I found a great website called sexgodproject.com.  It's a former addict who posts his experiences and tools for being more whole sexually.  I haven't delved into all of the articles in detail, but am looking forward to reading them.  His Ted talk on the matter is very good, and as I am a gay rebooter it's nice to have this guy's perspective on the matter.  Onwards and upwards everyone!

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2016, 11:14:53 PM »
Day 21 - Made it three weeks which I'm really proud of.  In the grand scheme of the rest of my life it might not seem like much, but then change has to begin somewhere.  I'm still pretty much in flatline.  Had morning wood (80% maybe?), but other than that I have ZERO going on down there.  Very few sexual urges at all, and zero urges to PMO.  I keep trying to focus on the future.  I have a lot of work to do, PMO aside.  I've let my exercise routine falter over the past couple of years.  My diet leaves much to be desired. I'm trying to do better in both of those areas.  Jobs are keeping me busy so I'm using the excess non-PMO hours to be productive and prepared.  I'm hesitant to call anything superpowers during this process as it may just be the way I was supposed to be all along - but I do notice my voice is clearer and a touch deeper.  I sing and I can hit notes better.  Today I had a nice amount of energy as well.  Also something really important came to me as I was walking to work today.  I was reminding myself that this process takes time, that to heal an addiction that consumed me for two decades it would take time for my body and mind to heal.  And then I thought - rather than wake up every day expecting x, y, or z I should use this time to be contrite, to have a period of mourning and deep reflection on the years wasted, the missed opportunities.  I'm not talking about wallowing in self-pity or regret , but rather seeing it, feeling it, touching all parts of the addiction in my mind's eye.  To heal completely it means owning the mistakes, but also working very hard to never make them again.  I hope I can remember that every single day of my life going forward.  Onwards and upwards everyone!

balfour

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2016, 11:07:20 PM »
Day 24 - Today I surpassed my previous personal best of no PMO - a small but significant win.  I'm trying to keep a general long-term goal and then try to manage the short-term, daily things as they come up.  Reading the stories here, YBR and reddit.com/r/pornfree are all helping me along the way.  It's important to know that you're not the only one going through something like this.  I don't know what to call the stage I'm in right now.  I'm getting pretty much zero activity down there (except for the occasional morning wood), but I'm noticing a kind of feeling of arousal in the area.  It's hard to explain I guess.  I'm still not tempted to PMO.  Every day I am away from it I feel better, more whole.  I've been limiting my time on Facebook and even when I see something that in times past might have triggered me I shut it down immediately and go to another site (usually this one) until the moment passes.  I'm trying to abide by a no-touching policy when it comes to my private parts.  I can't really get it up anyway but it's tempting to play with myself absentmindedly (a tic I developed after years of PMO addiction).  I'm trying to be patient with everything I'm experiencing during this recovery because I know how many years I let this terrible addiction rob my body and mind.  Incidentally, a co-worker of mine is doing no drinking for the month of January and I asked him how it was going today.  He said he was still going strong.  He said his next goal is stop masturbating so much.  He says he PMO's (he didn't use that terminology) three times a day.  Without letting him know about my own struggle (which is far too personal for me to share) I told him he might want to try giving it up and see what happens.  It was kind of interesting to have that conversation.  He had no idea of my own addiction and it just reinforced my getting clean.  Onwards and upwards gents!

BestVersionOfMySelf

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2016, 11:34:09 PM »
 I like your spirit, and the way you're handling it. Even if you failed times before that counts for experience that I'm sure along with your state of mind will make you overcome this for a new you. Congrats for going this far, never giveup.

Johnny Trailer

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Re: To err is human...
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2016, 09:20:08 AM »
Day 24 - Today I surpassed my previous personal best of no PMO - a small but significant win.  I'm trying to keep a general long-term goal and then try to manage the short-term, daily things as they come up.  Reading the stories here, YBR and reddit.com/r/pornfree are all helping me along the way.  It's important to know that you're not the only one going through something like this.  I don't know what to call the stage I'm in right now.  I'm getting pretty much zero activity down there (except for the occasional morning wood), but I'm noticing a kind of feeling of arousal in the area.  It's hard to explain I guess.  I'm still not tempted to PMO.  Every day I am away from it I feel better, more whole.  I've been limiting my time on Facebook and even when I see something that in times past might have triggered me I shut it down immediately and go to another site (usually this one) until the moment passes.  I'm trying to abide by a no-touching policy when it comes to my private parts.  I can't really get it up anyway but it's tempting to play with myself absentmindedly (a tic I developed after years of PMO addiction).  I'm trying to be patient with everything I'm experiencing during this recovery because I know how many years I let this terrible addiction rob my body and mind.  Incidentally, a co-worker of mine is doing no drinking for the month of January and I asked him how it was going today.  He said he was still going strong.  He said his next goal is stop masturbating so much.  He says he PMO's (he didn't use that terminology) three times a day.  Without letting him know about my own struggle (which is far too personal for me to share) I told him he might want to try giving it up and see what happens.  It was kind of interesting to have that conversation.  He had no idea of my own addiction and it just reinforced my getting clean.  Onwards and upwards gents!

you broke your own record, thats huge win. does not matter how long it is, it means you are on the right pat.

no activity down there is called flatline, you probably heard of it but i will post link for others to see too http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/i-quit-porn-but-my-potency-and-libido-are-decreasing-help. good job avoiding any touching, arousal and stuff like that. thats called rebooting! excellent.

man you had perfect opportunity to share your story with that man. you still have opportunity to share and support each other. he is probably porn addict too if he PMO 3 times a day. you can mention this forum and YBOP, it will surely help him. aaaaa damnnn... it would be good on so many levels to do it. for example, you would feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable which is path to happiness (expanding comfort zone). comfortable living = boredom and misery, as you know and can see around you probably. just ponder it and if you decided that you dont want to expose yourself, its still okay no worry you are doing fine :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2016, 06:06:24 PM by Numez »